The Lodge of Freedom, No. 4027: a very brief history
The Lodge of Freedom No. 4027 was formed soon after the First World War ended in 1918. The Lodge was to be dedicated to those who had given their lives with gallantry and valour, that those who remained should have freedom – hence the choice of name. The nineteen founding Brethren were drawn from all the constituted Lodges in Stockton-on Tees of the time – namely Tees Lodge, The Lodge of Philanthropy, The Lodge of Fraternity, and Whitwell Lodge.
The Lodge was consecrated on Wednesday, 7th April 1920 at the Masonic Hall, Stockton-on-Tees. Among the principal Consecrating Officers was the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, the Rt.Hon. Lord Ravensworth. The Banquet which followed the ceremony was clearly a lavish affair, the menu comprising two soups, a fish course of salmon; roast beef, roast lamb and boiled leg of mutton, followed by rhubarb tart, table creams and jellies, then biscuits and cheese, and coffee.
The founders initially conceived of a Lodge whose members were to be of a professional and quasi-professional status. The Lodge prospered in its early years, initiating its first candidate in 1921, and subsequently admitting many Brethren who served Freemasonry and the broader community with distinction. Notable among these early Brethren was V.W. Bro. Thomas Jackson, who was initiated in 1924, and who served as Deputy Provincial Grand Master from 1959 until his death in 1969. The Lodge of Justice, No. 8361, consecrated in March 1971, was dedicated to his memory.
An important landmark in the history of the lodge, and one which was consistent with the aim of the brethren to commemorate those who had died in the Great War, was its qualification as a Hall Stone Lodge. For this status to be awarded, a lodge had to have contributed generously to the building of the new Grand Temple in London, which was itself constructed as a memorial to those Brethren who had fallen during the War. To mark this, The Hall Stone Jewel was conferred on the Master of the Lodge by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, at a ceremony in London in 1929, and the Jewel has been proudly worn by Masters of the Lodge since then.
The years, from 1945 to 1970, saw a period of consolidation and then expansion. Significant events included:
1963: Consecration of the Chapter of Freedom.
1970: Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lodge.
1971: Consecration of the Lodge of Justice, No. 8361, the first Daughter Lodge of the
Lodge of Freedom, dedicated to the memory of V.W.Bro.Thomas Jackson.
1980: Consecration of the Lodge of Jurists, No. 8956, the second Daughter Lodge.
1995: Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Lodge.
As we approach the centenary of the First World War, it is appropriate to remember that the original aim of those Brethren who formed the Lodge of Freedom in 1920 was to commemorate those who had lost their lives during that conflict. In the early years of the 21st Century, the Lodge still stands as a reminder of those Brethren, and as we approach the year 2020, we look forward to celebrating our next major landmark; 100 years of uninterrupted existence.
Although the Lodge was initially conceived as having a membership of “professional and quasi-professional” status, it is worth noting that such exclusivity is no longer tenable. We welcome applications for membership from all candidates who subscribe to the fundamental principles of freemasonry, in particular a willingness to adopt a moral and ethical approach to life, with values based on integrity, kindness, honesty, and fairness.
This short history is based on two main sources. First, the original Minute Book of the Lodge, and second, the excellent and comprehensive history of the Lodge of Freedom, written by W. Bro Michael. Manning in 1980 to celebrate the first 60 years of the Lodge.